Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Math is hard.

New York Times online headline, as of 10:33 am:

"Sales of Previously Owned Homes Plunge to 1989 Level"

The actual underlying fact to which the headline-writer is referring:

"The National Association of Realtors said yesterday that sales of existing homes, which account for the vast majority of all home sales, fell 8.4 percent in March. That was the steepest monthly decline since January 1989." [emphasis added]

"Steepest monthly decline since 1989" and a decline "to 1989 levels" are concepts so unrelated that, even after years of quantitative howlers, I'm genuinely surprised at the mistake.